Wow what an interesting summer this has turned out to be. Lets start with the most recent and work my ways backwards.
Today I started my new internship/volunteer session at the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals or MSSPA. I contacted the MSSPA a while ago asking if they had an on site vet and if I could follow this vet in exchange for some volunteer hours. Why did I want to do this? In the fall of 2014 or 2015 (depending on different factors) I will be starting to apply for vet schools. I already have 500+ hours of small animal experience under a vet, over 1000+ hours of general equine experience, and over 1000 hours of alpaca general experience. All of these look great on a vet application but I am looking to spice it up and volunteering for an equine rescue and gaining some equine vet experience hours is one thing that will help to do just that.
A day or so later I received a very enthusiastic reply from the public relations person at the rescue and before I knew it I had a meeting with her, the owner, and the CEO of the rescue. Before the meeting I did some more research on the rescue and became even more impressed. This rescue really stands out from your ordinary rescue. Unlike other rescues, the MSSPA does not take horses from the general public, nor do they go looking for horses that need to be 'rescued'. All the animals on the property were seized from the state and are either here in find new homes, or are here while the owners are going through the court process. Don't get me wrong, most of these horses came here due to neglect and abuse, but some come here because the owners are for some reason arrested and cannot care for the horses (since they are not home).
Apart from their mission and purpose as a rescue, the facilities impressed me even more. I just gauk at the two barns and the set up, actually I'm sure I drooled the first time I saw the facilities. They aren't fancy (though they are VERY clean and well kept) but the layout is just so open and has a peaceful feeling. All of the horses come in at night time so each one has its own stall. Each stall has an approximate 5 foot by 5 foot open window and the stalls are very open in general. I would say that the only next best option for these horses would be to have them out in fields all day and night, but since that isn't possible this is the next best option.
My day comprised of mucking stalls, cleaning and filling water buckets, cleaning out each feed bucket in the stall (YES this gets done every day), and helping with cleaning up some hay. The barn isles are cleaned using a leaf blower and everything is just spotless (but not a crazy spotless).
Did I mention that everyone I worked with today was amazing?! The barn manager was fantastic and was so grateful for my help today and the other employees were so welcoming. It was nice to be in an equine facility where I didn't feel like the people were "horse crazy". At noon time the barn manager said that it was lunch time, and believe it or not, but all the employees stopped working and we all went into the farm house and had lunch together around a table. It was great, I've never been in a work environment where all the employees actually had lunch together.
The absolute best part of the day was when I was told that it was 4 (meaning the day was done) and I couldn't believe it! Not once had I looked at the time all day. I feel like at my new job I am always looking at the clock and counting down to when I can go home. Not that I don't enjoy my job but when I am there I always feel like I could be doing something more enjoyable, but I didn't feel like that today.
After I showered the owner and public relations lady (and her husband) treated me to dinner. These people are just saints!
Thats is what has happened the most recently, in the next few days I will be posting about the less recent happenings so stay tuned!
Thanks for reading :)